Youthful Baltic Sea Festival 2014

Stockholm/Sweden (April 10, 2014) — The twelfth Baltic Sea Festival offers a varied programme with a prominent youth-oriented profile. The Swedish National Youth Orchestra is back and children from El Sistema will play alongside the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. The festival will also recognise the 20th anniversary of the sinking of MS Estonia. Piano enthusiasts will have their own evening, featuring all of Prokofiev’s piano concertos. The Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra will make a tour-stop on their way to London. The programme for the Baltic Sea Festival was presented Monday at a press conference at Berwaldhallen in Stockholm.

“We are proud to present yet another Baltic Sea Festival with world class artists, orchestras and musical experiences,” says Michael Tydén, festival Director and co-founder of the Baltic Sea Festival. “Along with the music, environment and leadership are the fundamental pillars of the festival. It is incredibly pleasing that the Baltic Sea Festival has developed into a vibrant forum for cross-border interaction with one common aim: to put our vulnerable inland sea, the Baltic Sea, in the spotlight. We can see that the water has once again become something that unites rather than divides us and we are once again excited to be able to invite orchestras and collaborators from all over the Baltic Sea area.”

The festival begins on Friday 22nd August with the newly discovered Shostakovich opera “Orango”, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen, with the Finnish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Mikaeli Chamber Choir, Gustaf Sjökvist’s Chamber Choir and young soloists from the Mariinsky Theatre Choir. The opera has only been performed a few times previously.

Berwaldhallen’s Honorary Conductor Herbert Blomstedt, who will be 87 this summer, will conduct the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra in a concert featuring music by Beethoven and Stenhammar. The concert will be performed at both Berwaldhallen and Stockholm Concert Hall. The last time the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra performed at Berwaldhallen was 1979.

The theme of children and youth is prominent in this year’s festival and the Swedish National Youth Orchestra, SNUO, is back with Esa-Pekka Salonen to perform Mahler’s first symphony.

Piano enthusiasts will get their fill on 25th August, when Prokofiev’s five piano concertos will be performed on the same evening by the three master pianists Olli Mustonen, Alexei Volodin and Behzod Abduraimov. Featuring the Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, conducted by Valery Gergiev.

On 26th August, the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Daniel Harding, will perform Mahler’s second symphony along with the Swedish Radio Choir, St Jacob Chamber Choir and soloists Kate Royal and Christianne Stotjin.

The 20th anniversary of the sinking of MS Estonia will be commemorated by a memorial ceremony and Duruflé’s Requiem by the Swedish Radio Choir, and with a reading by actor Stina Ekblad. Raoul Wallenberg’s Day falls on the same day and will be marked with a seminar on young leadership.

Latvia’s capital, Riga, is the European Capital of Culture in 2014 alongside the Swedish city of Umeå. Riga Sinfonietta, conducted by Normunds Sné, will perform Mozart’s Jupiter symphony and music by the Latvian composers Ruta Paidere and Pēteris Vasks. The violin soloist is Alina Pogostkina.

On Friday 29th August, the 150th anniversary of the birth of the Swedish composer Alice Tegnér will be observed under the heading: “From children’s songs to chamber music”. Alongside others, baritone Olle Persson and composer Maria Lithell Flyg are participating. On the same day, the Kiev Chamber Choir will make a guest appearance at the festival and perform a concert in Oscarskyrkan featuring Ukrainian and Russian music.

The festival concludes on 30th August with the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gustavo Dudamel. Children from El Sistema Sweden are also participating.

El Sistema started in Venezuela in 1975, with the aim of using music as a way to give children in disadvantaged communities the chance to develop. El Sistema Sweden started in 2009 in Gothenburg by Gustavo Dudamel and the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra. Three symphony orchestras will be working together with El Sistema during the festival – the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra and the Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra.

Music, environment and leadership

During the week, many seminars will be held on the festival’s three pillars of music, environment and leadership. Raoul Wallenberg Academy, which works for young leadership,will hold a seminar on the theme of young leaders on Raoul Wallenberg’s Day, the 27th August. They will also present their current “Cube project” during the festival.

Swedish Radio Channel P1 will arrange a seminar titled “Culture and politics” at Kulturhuset in Stockholm. The WWF will hold an environmental seminar at the Finnish Embassy.

The Swedish Radio’s charity foundation Radiohjälpen, which will be 75 years old this year, will for the first time make a collection during the festival for the WWF’s Baltic Sea Fund. The programme for the seminars will be presented later.

The Baltic Sea Festival 2014 is taking place over nine days, from 22nd to 30th August. Tickets are available from 8th April. For the programme, press photos and other information, please visit www.balticseafestival.com

For more information, please contact:

Carin Balfe Arbman, Press Officer for the Baltic Sea Festival/Östersjöfestivalen, mobile: +46-70-633 35 08, e-mail: carin.balfe_arbman@sr.se

The Baltic Sea Festival is an annual music festival founded in 2003 by Michael Tydén, former director of Berwaldhallen in Stockholm and general manager of the Baltic Sea Festival, Esa- Pekka Salonen, conductor and composer, and Valery Gergiev, conductor and director of the Mariinsky Theatre in St. Petersburg. The Baltic Sea Festival operates in three main areas in order to create a better future for the Baltic Sea region – music, environment and leadership.

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